DANTE! they would call thee stern,
And to a lighter muse they turn
From thy sweet song away, -
Ah, could they thy soft spirit learn
As I have learned to-day.
Alas! how piteously doth tell
Thy sorrow-throbbing lay,
Where through the murky fumes of hell
The soul-ghosts never stay,
But whirl in time to the spectral knell
That tolls all hope away.
However, mid that dead, damned host,
A snowy pair there flew,
By darker thousands onward forced,